In my previous post, I tried to keep my cool as I explained why I support the curriculum updates. Trying to catch anti-curriculum-changers with honey, rather than vinegar, as it were. To be honest though, my initial reactions upon hearing the reasoning coming from those against the curriculum update were decidedly more vinegary. “Incredulous” would be a better word, and what I wrote below is actually what I wrote first in a fury. I know pieces like this and this have done a great job at countering many of the concerns that have been raised against it, but I just needed to vent!
But now it’s more than a week later and I still haven’t gotten this finished and polished up enough to my standards. Instead of letting it languish in “draft” purgatory and eventually dying a forgotten death, I’m just going to publish it as it is, so I can have a record of the frustration I feel. Continue reading Sex ed in Ontario, Part 2
So the topic of sex ed has been blowing up in the news again this week, as Ontario parents against the curriculum changes banded together to take their kids out of class for the week in a “strike” protest. I gather that they believe that the content and schedule of curriculum delivery is harmful to their children.
I get it. As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want them to grow up to be healthy, happy, connected and loved individuals, and to protect them from harm where we can. But these adjectives are pretty vague in terms of specific goals and ambitions, driving the IT delivery manager in me to distraction. I decided to take a step back to look at what specific goals I want for my daughters. (taking from Stephen Covey, “Begin with the goal in mind”) Continue reading Why I support the update to the sex ed curriculum in Ontario
Two of the finds this week are longer reads, but I found them worth the time investment. The third is food for thought for attracting, and keeping, women into the STEM fields. Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-05-06.
- In Walking the Tornado Line, magazine journalist Justin Nobel goes on a walking journey in Alabama and Tennessee following the path of a mile-wide monster tornado on April 27, 2011 chewed up everything in its path for 132 miles. But the piece is more than a mere chronicle of the people and places impacted and tally of things destroyed. As he collects the stories from people who lived through it, and relays his own walking journey through Alabama during tornado season, his writing style conjures up clear and haunting imagery in the imagination. There is an underlying sense of dread, never feeling safe in the elements, like a great suspense novel or movie. I didn’t realize how I take for granted the lack of tornados in the places I’ve lived, until I read this.
On the fourth night of my journey I camp in woods owned by a Baptist deacon named Sammy Swinney. It was here in the rolling hills of northern Alabama where the April 27, 2011, tornado roared through at sixty-five miles per hour, a black cloud the width of twenty-five city blocks with winds stronger than any hurricane. And it was here in the sleepy farming community of Oak Grove that the tornado morphed into something truly unfathomable, and did things few people knew tornadoes could do: ate large brick homes straight through to the foundation, spawned side tornadoes that flanked the main like evil henchmen, climbed a mountain and rattled down a steep valley on the other side, turned an entire forest to spindles, and carried away cars and cows and people, too.
- The update of the health curriculum in Ontario where I live has garnered a lot of debate and controversy over the sexual education component of it. Full disclosure: I am totally in support of all the changes, which is why I get so frustrated with those protesting against it…but that’s going to be another post. It’s in this climate that this essay published in the Globe and Mail grabbed my attention. Yes, her own backstory is lurid, but her wading through the challenges of educating her teenaged son about sexual health hit on so many of the points that I’ve been worried about when it comes to the impact of online pornography.
Sierra Skye Gemma survived unthinkable childhood abuse. Now the loving mother of a teenaged son, she finds herself on a deeply personal journey to teach him a healthy attitude to sex in the age of online pornography.
- This op-ed in the New York Times has a really interesting approach for positioning engineering to be attractive for women to study and pursue careers in: provide the socially beneficial context in which the engineering work will affect changes. On a surface look, it makes a lot of sense: making things for the sake of making the thing better/stronger/more featured than before is not so attractive to me. However, using engineering skills to help solve a problem in society? That is a better sell. Does it harken back to the days of my youth when much of the pretend play was about building a family and making sure everyone was taken care of? Maybe.
<—previous finds of the week
“Mommy, how does your body know when you are married so you can make a baby?”
This is the question posed to me last night by my elder daughter, E1.
Me: “Um, that’s not how a baby gets made.”
E1: (still continuing on the train of thought that babies are spontaneously made in mommy’s belly upon marriage) “And then how does the baby get parts of the Daddy in it? Like some of his looks, or personality?” Her face was pondering this question. Continue reading Parenting is hard: sex talks
Here are the good/interesting/provoking finds I’ve stumbled across this week: 2015-02-08
- “Could we stop the anti-vaxxers if we said measles contains gluten?” Haha, Tabitha Southey hits a home run again. If logic, science and reason won’t work to convince anti-vaxxers, maybe sarcasm will?
- Did you know that Ontario’s Ministry of Education’s curriculum on sexual education was last updated in 1998? Yes, from the early years of internet, before smartphones and social media. Two 13-year old girls are advocating for sex-ed reforms, and they are doing with with great maturity and articulation. The topic of consent is a large component of their suggestions. Just brilliant. I would hold them up as role models for my two girls.
<–previous finds of the week